ISSN 1321-6260
August 2020 - No. 142

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Name change for GRK

The name of the Government Recordkeeping team recently changed to Recordkeeping Standards and Advice. Nothing else has changed in terms of our responsibilities and services. The email address for enquiries is still 

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Exposure draft of Cloud computing checklist

We are seeking feedback on the draft Cloud Computing: recordkeeping requirements checklist. The checklist covers compliance requirements under the State Records Act and Standard on records management, and covers jurisdiction, ownership and rights over data and information; roles and responsibilities; value, accessibility and retrieval; service management and disaster recovery; sensitivity and security; records disposal requirements; and termination of cloud services.

The consultation period closes on 18 September 2020.

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Have your say on the future of Records Managers Forum events

Due to COVID-19 we have temporarily paused the Records Managers' Forums and are currently exploring opportunities to hold virtual events that would still enable information sharing and collaboration across the sector. To ensure that we cater to your needs, we are inviting you to answer some questions regarding the different elements of the event:

  • format and duration
  • frequency and suitable time frames
  • topics of interest.

Your answers will enable us to gauge interest and provide information on your preferences which will assist in planning future face-to-face or online events. Have your say by completing a 6-minute survey by Sunday 20 September. We’re looking for as many responses as possible. The information you provide will be kept anonymous. Enquiries can be directed to or 02 97143080.

Click here to view presentations from previous Records Managers Forum events.

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New advice on transferring digital records to NSW State Archives and Records

We have published new advice on the transfer of digital records to the State Archives Collection. Like our advice on physical format records transfer, this new advice provides a step-by-step guide to the transfer process.

Transferring digital records to our custody has a number of benefits for your organisation:

  • It reduces your organisation’s costs for software licences and vendor support for legacy systems, as well as storage and hardware infrastructure costs.
  • It passes the risks and liabilities associated with maintaining accessibility to records and protecting them from unauthorised access, deletion or corruption to NSW State Archives and Records.
  • It passes the responsibility for managing public access to records under the State Records Act 1998 to NSW State Archives and Records.
  • It enables your organisation to comply with section 29 of the State Records Act.

The process for transferring digital records largely mirrors the process for transferring physical format records. However there are some additional requirements to provide metadata and checksums.

If you have any questions about the new advice, or would like to initiate a digital transfer, please contact the Agency Services team at

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New tool to identify records for transfer

We are committed to ensuring that records that are required as State archives are protected and preserved, wherever they are kept.

In most cases you should transfer records required as State archives to our custody once your organisation is no longer actively using them. We can then document, preserve, contextualise and ultimately provide public access to the records. Transferring custody also benefits your organisation by reducing its records storage and maintenance costs, and passing the risks and liabilities associated with managing and protecting records, and providing public access, to us.

We are aware that many public offices would like to transfer records to us, but are discouraged because they do not know what records should be transferred and where these records are located and kept. We are also aware that some public offices are storing records that are required as State archives in less than ideal conditions, risking their ongoing accessibility and survival.

To give your organisation better visibility of its long term value records we have developed a Transfer Tool. Using the Tool will enable your organisation to:

  • identify categories of records that are required as State archives
  • determine where and how they are stored
  • prioritise the appropriate storage, protection and management of the records while they remain in your custody
  • plan for and resource their eventual transfer to the State Archives Collection.

The Tool is available as an exposure draft, and we would welcome feedback from public offices on its usefulness.

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Hearing on the review of the State Records Act

The final hearing of the review into the State Records Act was held on 20 August. Transcripts from the previous hearings and the policy paper are available from the NSW Parliament website.  

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Satisfaction Survey

The Recordkeeping Standards and Advice team will be conducting a survey in mid-September on public offices' satisfaction with:

  • information and services provided on the Government Recordkeeping website
  • the enquiry service provided by the Recordkeeping Standards and Advice team
  • developing and using retention and disposal authorities, and
  • using recordkeeping standards and advice for managing records.

We will use the findings to identify opportunities to improve our processes and provide better support to agencies.

Even if you have not interacted with the Recordkeeping Standards and Advice team before, completing the survey will give us a better picture of the needs of the sector.

An email about the survey will be sent out to each public office in mid-September.  If you have any queries about the Satisfaction Survey, please contact

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Requests for records held at the Western Sydney Records Centre

There are two types of records stored at the Western Sydney Records Centre: records that have been transferred into the State Archives Collection, and records stored in the Government Records Repository (GRR). If the records are stored in the GRR your organisation will be paying for their storage.

If your organisation’s records are in the State Archives Collection, you can request their retrieval via:

Retrievals from the State Archives Collection will be delivered digitally via GRRWeb (charges apply). Signing up to GRRWeb in advance will ensure the streamlined delivery of retrievals from the State Archives Collection – please email to set up GRRWeb for your organisation.

Alternatively you can view your organisation’s records in the State Archives Collection free of charge at the Western Sydney Records Centre. You can also direct a member of the public to view any records in the State Archives Collection that are open to public access at the Western Sydney Records Centre.

If your organisation’s records are stored in the GRR, you can request their retrieval via:

  • Email:
  • Telephone: (02) 8805 5325
  • Existing GRRWeb clients may use GRRWeb, accessed via:

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Conservation and preservation tips and advice

We provide tips and advice on caring for records and basic conservation and preservation treatments on our website. We also provide advice on specific requirements for different formats if you wish to transfer records to the State Archives Collection. We are updating this advice – are there any particular topics you would like advice on? Or do you have any feedback on our existing advice? Please let us know – email

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Sentencing clinics

We recently ran a sentencing clinic for some of the Local Health Districts. We discussed issues with legacy patient files, movement from paper to electonic health registers and difficulties accessing information on legacy systems, as well as what to do with very large quantities of Covid-19 clinic registration forms. We have recently held meetings with the Information Governance teams from eHealth and HealthShare. Representatives from both have offered to take part in future health sentencing clinics.

Please get in touch with us at if you are interested in taking part - they are fairly informal virtual meetings that go for about an hour.

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Advice on sustainable file formats and software as a service

NSW State Archives and Records is part of the Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative and recently contributed to the development of two products:

These should be read in conjunction with our advice on sustainable file formats and cloud computing guidance.

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Disposal authorities approved

The Board of the NSW State Archives and Records Authority recently approved a retention and disposal authority for the NSW Crime Commission.

Copies of our retention and disposal authorities are available from the website.

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